CIELITO F. HABITO
NO FREE LUNCH: Investing in our farms
January 05, 2021
If we do things right henceforth, agriculture could well be the game changer for the Philippines' post-pandemic economic future. After all, it was the only major economic sector that defied the economic downturn, posting positive growth while the overall economy went on a steep dive. More remarkable is the fact that for many years, it has been the sector that consistently dragged overall economic growth as industry and services far outpaced it. What the pandemic experience has shown is that agriculture possesses an innate strength not seen in the other two sectors, and this has led me to describe it as our economy's ultimate backbone. Now I'm even more convinced that agriculture is our key to a more inclusive and sustainable economic future, even as we should continue tapping the wide opportunities for wealth and job creation in industry and services.
But this prognosis hangs on one word: productivity.
Read more: https://opinion.inquirer.net/136725/investing-in-our-farms
EDILBERTO DE JESUS
FROM BOTH SIDES NOW: Lessons to keep from 2020
January 04, 2021
The PSG vaccination was troubling because of the possible pressure imposed upon soldiers to place themselves at risk with unvetted vaccines, and the precedent it could set for the civilian population. The issue at least established that government did not have a blanket right to force even those subject to military discipline to take unregistered, potentially dangerous medicine. The broader, fundamental concern relates to the problem that has long plagued the country - the issue of impunity and the rule of law.
Do our laws apply only to some and not to others? To what extent can bureaucrats and politicians manipulate, bend, or weaponize the laws to serve particular interests? And what is the citizen's recourse to those who may be tempted to exercise this power?
Read more: https://www.rappler.com/voices/thought-leaders/opinion-snafu-vaccine-controversy
MILWIDA M. GUEVARA
December 30, 2020
Our tradition has always been to write resolutions for the New Year. We keep a wish list of what we intend to do to make our lives more meaningful. Some prefer to do a bucket list of places to see or things to do. But this year is different. Difficult as the year 2020 was, we pause and reflect on lessons we have learned and those we can keep.
Read more: https://mb.com.ph/2020/12/30/lessons-to-keep-from-2020/
NO FREE LUNCH: When a mayor inspires
December 29, 2020
I'd like to focus my last article for this trying year on a small part of the country that inspires in us hope that with good and competent leadership, good things can happen and lives can be uplifted.
Just before Christmas, the Association of Local Social Welfare and Development Officers of the Philippines Inc. bestowed their Gawad Parangal on Mayor Fernando L. Mesa of Alabat, Quezon. It was yet another recognition among many already received by the good mayor for the near-miracle he has pulled off in his town, one of three located on Alabat Island within Lamon Bay, off the eastern coast of Quezon Province.
Read more: https://opinion.inquirer.net/136533/when-a-mayor-inspires
[ANALYSIS] Ang vaccine ay sumapit!
December 23, 2020
What criteria should IATF establish to determine how much of the vaccine it should buy from which suppliers? Effectiveness? Safety? Availability? Price? IATF would need to balance competing cost-and-benefit considerations to craft a plan yielding the greatest gain to the biggest number. This classic, utilitarian approach is congenial to economists because the quantitative analysis can appear conclusive and uncontroversial.
Read more: https://www.rappler.com/voices/thought-leaders/analysis-vaccine-christmas
FROM BOTH SIDES NOW: A Christmas like no other
I am embarrassed to admit that I did not look forward to Christmas day. It is unbelievable but true, but streams of people keep coming to and from the house. I live in a small town and am the only remnant of my ancestry. So, I inherit the relatives of my father, mother, uncles, and cousins who have passed away or who are not longer in the country. Guests, relatives, and godchildren come in hordes representing several generations. There are of course the "barangay tanods", traffic enforcers, street sweepers, garbage collectors, and carolers. Times had been hard, and a Christmas gift means so much.
Read more: https://mb.com.ph/2020/12/23/a-christmas-like-no-other/
NO FREE LUNCH: Defeminizing retail?
December 22, 2020
An important implication of the shift from store-based to online-based retail is the likely diminished role women will have in this sector of the economy. While women clearly dominate the existing sales staff of department stores, malls, and even supermarkets, we are now seeing the prominence of logistics and delivery firms providing the "last mile" link to the end-consumers. And here, it is men who almost entirely make up this last mile link. I've seen many women driving motorcycles, but I have yet to see a female rider delivering our Shopee or Lazada purchases, and while I'm sure there are women riders out there doing it, they appear to be an exceptional and tiny minority.
Given the dominant contribution of retail trade to the total employment of Filipinos, this "defeminization" of retail is one issue that we must be prepared to address.
Read more: https://opinion.inquirer.net/136335/defeminizing-retail
FROM BOTH SIDES NOW: Choices and trade-offs
December 16, 2020
I would be happy as a teacher if all that my students would remember is the concept of opportunity costs. Resources such as time, talents and money have alternative uses. By choosing to use a resource in a particular way, we give up all its other uses. Just as I was hurrying to finish this article, a colleague called to share a problem. I was of course torn between the choice of listening to him or beating my deadline. I chose what I thought was more important - spending my time listening to a friend. With my choice came the consequence of not finishing my column on time.
Read more: https://mb.com.ph/2020/12/16/choices-and-trade-offs/
NO FREE LUNCH: When things work well-or don't
December 15, 2020
It's a lot easier to write on things that go wrong "only in da Pilipins," as they say-be it traffic, shoddy public services, sadistic government processes, inept or corrupt public "servants," or what have you. But once in a while, things do work as they should, evoking in us feel-good sentiments that there's hope for our beloved Philippines.
Read more: https://opinion.inquirer.net/136177/when-things-work-well-or-dont
NO FREE LUNCH: Successor leaders
December 08, 2020
The pandemic and its mobility restrictions did not stop some two dozen youths, and surely countless others out there, from doing good and helping uplift the lives of people around them. I got my annual fix of inspiration last week from the presentations of the third cohort of fellows of the Future Bridging Leaders Program (FBLP) of the Asian Institute of Management's TEaM Energy Center for Bridging Leadership (AIMTEC), whose Board of Advisers I chair. They are pursuing "change projects" falling under the broad themes of social enterprise, environment, health, education, and persons deprived of liberty - all concrete examples of doing good for the common good."Bridging" here refers to the challenge of bridging societal divides in the social, economic, cultural, environmental, and political realms - and in our country, these divides can be rather wide and deep. Indeed, what the world needs today is bridging leadership that unifies those being led, not further heighten the divides among them as certain prominent leaders have instead been doing.
Read more: https://opinion.inquirer.net/135970/successor-leaders